Reducing antibiotic use in pig production in Thailand


The rapid increase in demand for meat in Thailand is driving the growth of antimicrobial use on farms. We are developing interventions to improve surveillance against AMR in pig farms considering farmers' practices and attitudes.

Project description (ongoing research project)

In order to develop targeted interventions to reduce the consumption of antibiotics on Thai pig farms, we map emerging resistance and look for links to risk factors. We do so by investigating pig farmers’ practices and attitudes, which are compared to samples of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from pigs, farmers and members of their communities who are not in direct contact with the animals. This produces a model in which variables such as antibiotic consumption, animal husbandry and farm structure can be modified, allowing the researchers to test the impact of various measures. Ultimately, our team is examining whether reduced consumption of antibiotics can actually be associated with a lower resistance level in pigs, pig farmers and the community.


The consumption of antibiotics in livestock farming is growing rapidly in emerging economies. While regulations have been used successfully to reduce antimicrobial use in Europe, enforcing regulations in resource-limited settings constitutes a major challenge. Alternative solutions are therefore required to reduce antimicrobial consumption.


We aim to better understand the association between resistance and certain farming practices, as well as to quantify the impact of different intervention strategies to reduce antibiotic use on Thai pig farms.


Our pilot study assesses the feasibility of intervention strategies and thus paves the way for regional interventions in South East Asia.

Original title

Piloting on-site interventions for reducing antimicrobial use in livestock farming in emerging economies

Project leaders

  • Prof. Thomas Van Boeckel, Gruppe Theoretische Biologie, Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften, ETH Zürich
  • Prof. Jatesade Jiwakanon, Khon kaen University, TH-Khon Kaen
  • Prof. Marianne Sunde, The Norwegian Veterinary Institute, NO-Oslo
  • Prof. Ulf Magnusson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Science, SE-Uppsala
  • Prof. Josef Järhult, Dept. of Medical Biochemistry & Microbiology, Uppsala Biomedical Center, Uppsala University, SE-Uppsala



Further information on this content



Prof. Thomas Van Boeckel Gruppe Theoretische Biologie
Departement Umweltsystemwissenschaften
ETH Zürich
Universitätsstrasse 16 8092 Zürich +41 44 632 31 56